11 May 2014

I do so love spring

I have been truly appalling at keeping my blog up to date recently and I do apologise, yet again, for my tardiness.

In my defence, the last few weeks have been a little odd and my routine disrupted somewhat, as my husband underwent a much-needed full hip replacement in early February and has been off work recuperating since then, only returning to work a few days ago.

With the mild autumn, my summer bedding lasted longer than usual, so I was rather late planting some new tulip bulbs I had and consequently, they’ve appeared rather late too and have been a welcome burst of colour as the weather has warmed and allowed me to be outside enjoying them.

He had been in debilitating pain and with much reduced  mobility and was looking forward to the surgery and hopefully the improvement it would bring and it has truly been a blessing for him.  He underwent the surgery under local anaesthetic, which I think was a rather surreal experience for him – he described it as like being placed on the table in an operating theatre and a screen put in place so that you couldn’t see what was happening, then the theatre staff appeared to dismantle and re-model the theatre around you – at least that was what it sounded like with all the sawing and hammering.  He wasn’t sure it was an appropriate time for undertaking a bit of DIY!

This batch of tulips were meant to be assorted colours, but they ended up all coming out yellow – but they’ve been totally gorgeous, with this deep gold colour and frilly edges.

But once back in his bed a couple of hours later, he felt great – absolutely no pain, hungry as all heck and between you and me, a little doolally from the meds.  He was home a few days later and went from strength to strength and whilst it has been a tricky time while he had -and continues to have to some degree – reduced movement, his recovery has been incident free and he was immediately better than he was before – just getting rid of the pain in itself was enough justification for the surgery.

 After all my lovely daffodils finished, I’ve had a second burst of deep yellow with these fabulous tulips – it’s amazing how a few blooms can lift your spirits.

At his post-op follow up with the surgeon the doctor declared that all had gone very well indeed with fully successful surgery and that he’d be able to rock climb in six months. “Wow, that’s absolutely amazing, I couldn’t rock climb beforehand!”

The fist open flower I spotted of wild garlic growing along one of my favourite local walks.

So the last few weeks have been a little odd – when you can’t bend much in the middle (necessary to prevent dislocation whilst the muscles holding the hip in place heal), it soon becomes evident how many routine tasks require you to do so.  Like washing your legs, putting on undies, trimming your toenails etc. etc. so I have had some odd wifely duties to perform – not to mention hauling a daft ‘old lady’ shopping trolley the mile or so from the supermarket.  And when you’re on crutches, even the simplest of tasks take military planning as you can’t carry anything you can’t stuff in your pockets or hang around your neck.  Whilst we thought we’d planned well for this period, it was the little things we hadn’t considered that took up so much of my time in assisting.

But we’re gradually returning to something like normal now and progressively lowering all the hospital-loaned seats to more normal sitting heights and we took the bed off its stilts yesterday – which has had the rather disarming effect of making me feel taller – which is rather a nice sensation when you’re only 5′ tall.

 I love to see woodland in spring, when the pristine greenery first emerges and you get carpets of early flowers like bluebells.

The one thing we have managed to do well during this period – and to be frank, when you can’t go anywhere by mobile transport it was our only form of outside entertainment  –  was walk.  So weather permitting, we’ve been out most days, just walking from the door and have watched the spring emerge – more like erupt – from the dark blandness of winter.  And it has been a particular joy this year when your world has become quite small, you really do appreciate that little bit more just what is right under your nose and you perhaps otherwise take for granted.

When you stop and study and area of woodland like this, there are dozens of lovely delicate species of flowers – this patch mainly features pink purslane and bluebells, two of my very favourites.

 So whilst it has been an odd time for us both with this rather strange routine we needed to adopt, it has also been a blessing in many ways too – we’ve spent more quality time together than we normally manage around work and has allowed us to evaluate what matters and spend our time more wisely.  The downside to that is that I’ve been tardy with things like blogging. I hope that you’ll forgive me.

I love the buds of Hawthorne before they open, they make perfect little white globes before the petals burst open.

Him having returned to work this week, I have had a blitz on getting pieces finished and photographed and onto my site and these are a few of the pieces I’ve finished lately.
 I haven’t done any chain maille for ages, so enjoyed working on this Full Persian bracelet with a chunky copper clay toggle.

 Faceted dyed jade wire wrapped antiqued copper bracelet with copper clay leaf shaped toggle clasp.
Carnelian wire wrapped bracelet with copper clay toggle clasp.  The texture on the toggle loop was my own, created originally from a photograph of a fir cone, made into a two tone graphic from which I made some texture sheets.  It’s my current favourite as I think it looks like tooled leather.

Rosebud knot spiral wrapped rondelles of Snake Skin Jasper.  I love this method of making beads into earrings, but it necessitates two pieces of wire passing through the bead and not many beads come with a suitably sized hole.

Copper clay pendant featuring a central section filled with filigree scrolls and a set Padparadscha coloured cubic zirconia stone.
I remember clearly the evening that I drew this design, early last summer, sat in the car, at sunset after a lovely evening walk and a picnic supper in one of our favourite quiet spots.  That particular area of countryside at that particular time of year was full of different verge-side grasses, with different shapes of seed head and all moving rhythmically in the warm evening breeze and I was fascinated with them and wondered if I could capture something of them in metal.